How to Wake Up Early
, , ,

How to Wake Up Early to Work Out

I’ve not always been an early riser. It’s still a struggle sometimes. (Just ask my husband!) I can be the queen of snooze some mornings, but I try to be up between 5 – 5:30 am.  I discovered that the secret for me for how to wake up early to workout is just by doing it. Ha! I set my mind (and my alarm) and just get up.

However, that method doesn’t work for everyone.

How to Wake Up Early

My ideal schedule includes getting up around 5 am and getting my coffee. Ahhhhhh….yes, coffee is always first! I read my devo and have prayer time first thing. By 6 am, I have my work “power hour”. I get lots done during this time!

Around 7 am, my husband and I workout together. Next is breakfast and then we start our homeschool day. Once our homeschool time is finished, I have a couple of hours in the afternoon to work a bit more. By dinner time, family time begins. After dinner, I shut down my kitchen, load the dishes, get my water filled for the next day, and get the coffee pot filled and the timer set for 5 am the next morning. (David helps with all of these post-dinner chores as well.)

You may be wondering why it’s important to get an early start to the day. It’s really not for everyone, but women who have children often find that they can be most productive when the kids are asleep. For most, this is in the early morning hours versus after the kids are in bed when most of us as exhausted.

When your morning is productive, it sets the stage for a productive day, better eating choices, better sleep that night, and reduced stress. 🙂

Over the years, I’ve helped many clients start this new habit. Today, I want to share a few suggestions that have worked for these ladies.

How to Wake Up Early to Work Out

Suggestion 1: Adjust your habits.

Instead of waiting til the morning to get your clothes ready for the day, pack your laptop bag, or fix your lunch, do all of those things the night before. This will make it easier to workout first thing in the morning.

Suggestion 2: Have a set bedtime and wake time.

We do this for our children and need to take a page out of our parenting books for ourselves! Set your bedtime to 9:30 or 10:00 pm and your wake-up time according to your schedule and how much time you need for productivity in the morning.

Suggestion 3: Work out at home.

If you find it difficult to be up and at a gym class at 5 am, you can work out at home instead. This will save driving time plus you get to workout in your pjs!

Suggestion 4: Join a gym.

Opposite of the above suggestion, some ladies find more accountability signing up for a specific early morning class. I’ve done both and see the value in both! You will have to decide what will #1) work for your daily schedule and  #2) motivate you the most to get up and work out.

Suggestion 5: Utilize time-efficient workouts that are also effective for fat loss.

Many people, in general, are confused about how much time it takes to workout to get results. My personal clients utilize 30 minute fat burning workouts. I’m not currently taking clients, but I can recommend a top notch coaching program that utilizes short, time-efficient, and effective workouts! FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 week boot camp that utilizes carb cycling and intermittent fasting – HIGHLY effective program!

Suggestion 6: Scale back your wake up time gradually.

If “biting the bullet” and just starting to wake up at 5 am cold turkey isn’t your cup of tea, then by all means, take a gradual approach. Start on day one by getting your morning chores done the night before (see suggestion 1), and set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Without the added chores and the extra 15 minutes or wake time, you will find more than enough time to fit in some movement!

Suggestion 7: Record your television shows.

So many of us are addicted to tv series and “have” to watch them live. I suggest recording your favorites and watch them over the weekend. This will allow you to hop into bed at a decent hour.

Suggestion 8: Get in touch with your “WHY” or purpose for wanting to wake up early and work out.

Anytime you can channel a deeper reason for a goal, you will be more successful. More on that HERE.

 

How to Wake Up Early

Let me know. What’s your ideal morning like? What time do you go to bed and what time do you wake up? Can’t wait to hear!

xo – Jill


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

, , ,

How to Effectively and Successfully Overhaul Your Life

By Jill Jacobs

I haven’t always been healthy and in good physical shape. I have managed to move from an unhealthy place where I didn’t exercise or eat in a way that was great for my body to a place where I have a healthy and fit lifestyle. For years, the thought of overhauling my life was overwhelming and frustrating.

I want to share with how I turned my life around. This is something that is simple and doable for everyone! I’ve used this method with many of my clients, and this can serve as the start of your own journey to becoming a healthier and fitter you.

How to Effectively and Successfully Overhaul Your Life

Step 1: Think about your habits- good and bad. Hang on to all your good, healthy habits.

Step 2: Now, choose just ONE behavior that isn’t helping you reach your goals. Change that one behavior. (This could be taking away a harmful behavior or adding a healthy behavior.)

Today is the day to start doing one thing differently. Do this one thing until it becomes an effortless change…until it becomes a healthy habit.

It takes effort and lots of mindfulness at first, but eventually it will become simple. It may take anywhere from 1-4+ weeks to master it.

Step 3: Once you find the new habit easy, pick another habit to change.

Don’t underestimate the power of one!

How to Effectively and Successfully Overhaul Your Life

Changing one thing at a time makes sustainable, life-long change doable and doesn’t overwhelm you.

If you pick just one thing to focus on, that takes pressure off by taking away the feeling that you must change everything all at once.

Ideas of habits to add to your life:

  • Center meals and snacks around protein
  • Walk 10 or more minutes each day
  • Exercise 3x per week
  • Drink 96 ounces of water per day
  • Shut down your kitchen for 12 hours beginning at 7 pm
  • Monitor your carb and/or fat intake
  • Eat 5 servings of veggies daily
  • De-stress daily for 10 minutes (massage, yoga, walk, read, take a warm bath, etc)
  • Commit to a specific bedtime and wake up time

Remember, just pick ONE!

It’s very difficult to overhaul your entire life in a day. It takes more will power than many of us have!

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by changing only ONE thing, so give it try! Truly, less is more when it come to lifestyle change.

Let me know how it goes. 🙂

Comment below and let me know what ONE thing you have decided to change.

xo -Jill

, , , ,

5 Ways to Stay on Track During Vacation

Now that it’s summer break in Georgia (and many places), I’m hearing a lot of buzz from friends, email subscribers, and clients about going on vacation. Woot woot! This is such a fun time of year when we can travel more and enjoy God’s beauty.

When traveling, it’s easy to throw out all things healthy and find ourselves indulging on ALL.THE.FOOD in sight. Vacation mode is a common phenomenon.

And I get it. It’s fun to get away, unwind, eat vacation treats, and relax a little. I’m certainly not against relaxing the standard a bit on vacation. I do believe, however, that there is a way to do it in moderation and maintain your physique along the way! Wanna know how to stay on track during vacation?

Here are 5 ways to stay on track during vacation:

  • Fit in exercise. Most hotels and condominiums have gyms. Plan a few workouts in advance (subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of this post or HERE for some free workouts included in my Lean Lifestyle Guide!).  You can use dumbbells or just bodyweight.

If there is no gym, get creative. My husband, David, and I have worked out in our hotel room, at the playground with our kids, and as seen below, on the beach! This quick workout helps us stay on track during vacation by pushing our bodies into fat burning mode!

Beach Sprints!

Beach Sprints!

If your kids are small, ask friends or family to watch them for you while you go workout for 30 minutes or take them along for a playground workout! They are watching and learning. If they see you workout, they will learn to prioritize health and fitness!

Be accountable with your exercise! Find a friend, relative, spouse, or group of like-minded women that you can check in with. This will help you stay committed and accountable to your workouts and healthy lifestyle!

  • Plan a menu. This takes some forethought. Plan for a few meals in your hotel or condo, snacks for on the road and during your trip, and even for eating out. Call ahead and ask for a small refrigerator to be delivered to your room so you can keep cold items.

stay on track during vacation

Chocolate Banana Protein Shake

For the room, I like to bring breakfast foods and snacks. I typically will take the ingredients to make protein shakes, pre-boiled eggs, eggs to cook for breakfast if I have a kitchen, beef jerky, nuts, Greek yogurt, fruit, and cut up veggies. I take lettuce, deli meat, cheese, and avocado to make lettuce wraps for lunch.

 

I’ve written about eating out before here. You can certainly make good choices and only indulge when it’s something you really, really want and it native to where you are vacationing.

This is a sample of how I order food out. This is Panang chicken. Notice I chose a meal that serves the carb (rice) on the side rather than mixed into the dish. That way I can control my intake a little better. This dish has chicken, veggies, coconut milk, and spices. So delish! So healthy!

stay on track during vacation

Panang Curry Chicken… Yum!

  • Practice moderation.  My personal practice is to eat with the same healthy guidelines 365 days/year, indulging only when it’s something I really want. With indulgent foods, I take a few sample bites, enjoy, and move on. 🙂 Nothing is really off limits, but I know how my body feels when I eat tons of high fat, high sugar, and fried foods. It feels terrible. I’d rather not feel terrible any day, much less on vacation when I’m wanting to relax and enjoy! So I stick with my nutritional commitments (protein at every meal and snack, high produce intake, 2-3 servings of healthy fat, carbs based on my workouts/body needs) when I’m at home AND when I’m on vacation.camelbak
  • Drink your water. Often, this habit gets completely ditched on vacation. 🙁 With all the activity and the summer sun, you will need to pay special attention to staying hydrated. It will help your body function optimally. Dehydration can make you feel hungry even when you aren’t. Many times when you think you’re hungry, drinking up will stave off a trip to the snack bag! Carry a water bottle with you everywhere, and sip on it all day.

Here is my favorite CamelBak water bottle. It doesn’t spill because of the jet valve and it locks!

  • Take advantage of leisure walking. Some of the best, most beautiful, and most memorable leisure walks I’ve been on have been on vacation! I mean, can you beat watching the sunrise on the east coast?!?!
stay on track during vacation

Can’t beat this view!

There are so many benefits to leisure walking (you can read more here). The major benefit to your health is that it lowers cortisol which can equal fat loss and fewer cravings. There is no downside to leisure walking! It’s fun AND beneficial. 🙂

I hope you have a fabulous summer! I’d love for you to share with me some ways YOU stay on track during vacation. Come on over to my facebook page and let me know!

Love,

Jill <3


Affiliate Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you buy through the link, the price is still the exact same for you, but I make a small percentage for recommending the product. The opinions expressed in the post are my own and all products shown are those I have used and truly believe in. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

, , , ,

5 Surprising Strategies for Successful Fat Loss

I’ve got good news! Successful fat loss CAN be attained. And not only can it be attained, it is an enjoyable lifestyle. 🙂

successful fat loss

Lazare / Pixabay

In the past, I’ve eaten many different ways. I’ve certainly discovered that there are foods that work for fat loss and foods that don’t, but most importantly, I’ve discovered that it’s about WAY MORE than just the food.

Here are 5 key strategies that lead to successful fat loss:

  • Whatever nutrition plan and fitness routine you choose, it must be SUSTAINABLE for the long haul. If your fat-loss plan is SO HARD that you can barely make it through a couple of weeks, how on earth can you sustain that as a lifestyle? Sure there may be times you want to tighten up your nutrition a bit for a summer vacation, a class reunion, or some other special event, but for this to be a lifestyle, your eating style MUST be something you enjoy and can do long-term AND produces RESULTS, successful fat loss. Similarly, if your workouts take hours a day, is that really something you or your body can maintain forever? I think not! There’s no such thing as a quick fix.
  • Keeping a positive attitude is KEY. If you play the victim card and wallow in self-pity about your plan, you will certainly be miserable and ultimately unsuccessful. Focus on how great you feel when you eat healthy food, how much energy you have when you feed your body real food, and how GREAT your jeans feel when you zip them up and don’t feel stuffed into them! 😀 Your attitude is ALWAYS controlled by YOU even when outcomes are not.

“If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way” ~ Henry Ford

  • Realize that it’s not just about the food. Fat loss not only happens in the kitchen, but there are many lifestyle factors that play a role. Getting proper sleep, keeping stress to a minimum, and working the WEIGHTS all play a HUGE role in metabolism, hormones, hunger, energy, cravings, and becoming leaner over time.
  • Be kind to yourself. How easy is it to beat ourselves up when we fall off the dieting wagon? We feel shame as we climb our way back up onto the wagon thinking that guilt will give us the most motivation. I’ve found that the opposite is true. When I “mess up” on my nutrition plan, I first evaluate WHY I was hungry or having a craving. I then move forward with new knowledge of how to avoid that situation next time. Looking for a lesson learned, being kind and gentle with myself, and moving on gives me the positive energy to carry on with my goals.
  • Put on your detective hat. When some aspect of your nutrition plan isn’t working, you have to be willing to put in a little detective work. This is a fat-loss lifestyle skill that will serve you well. Any time that you have cravings, excessive hunger, low energy, or lack of results, you should investigate to find the aspect of what you’re doing (or not doing) that’s NOT working for you.

Having basic knowledge of what you should eat doesn’t always translate to the results you desire. When my results stall, it’s time to examine some issues outside of food choices to find the answers. I know that when my attitude is positive and my lifestyle choices are in line with fat-loss success, the food part is effortless!

Successful fat loss is a journey and doesn’t come from a “quick fix” plan. It takes time, practice, and patience to master the mindset piece, to make necessary changes in your lifestyle, and do the detective work it takes to be successful. Want the GOOD news? It DEFINITELY CAN be done!

A solid coaching program will work with ladies day-in and day-out on these strategies. It’s imperative to make important mindset shifts, find sustainable strategies that work in your everyday life, and become a detective of your own body. It CAN be done!

If you’re wanting information about a top-level coaching service that I recommend, here is my top suggestion to help you reach your goals!

FASTer Way to Fat Loss 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


For regular tips and encouragement, be sure to sign up for my email list right below the post. You’ll get some awesome freebies as soon as you confirm your subscription! ❤️

Best of luck on your journey to a healthier, happier, leaner YOU! Here’s to successful fat loss!

xo -Jill

successful fat loss

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
, , ,

Getting CLEAR About Clutter {+ Giveaway}

By Jill Jacobs

“Your environment is a reflection of your life.” -Annick Magac

Maybe you find it a little curious or strange that I would blog about clutter on a site that is primarily focused on health, nutrition, and fitness topics. Well, surprisingly, clutter impacts your health and success WAY more than you may realize.

Author, health coach, and design expert, Annick Magac, explains in her book Clear: How to Simplify Your Life & Live More Fearlessly how your habitats (home, office, car, etc.) may help or hinder your personal or professional successes and even your success at body change. She further teaches you *how* to transform your habitat to make living a life of freedom and success possible!

“Like life, just because you find yourself in a particular situation, thought pattern, job, health, fitness, or relationship that isn’t serving you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change it at any point. The first thing is to recognize that there can be something to change. The second part is to know you have the strength and power to make the changes necessary to create the life you want and envision. The third part is to take the steps to make those changes. Like anything new, the hardest part is getting started, but once you’re on a roll it gets easier and easier. Clear will help you with all these steps.” – Chapter 1 p.24

When your physical environment is cluttered, often your mind will be as well. This makes it difficult to wind down, de-stress, and sleep well which are all so important for optimal health. When we develop healthy surroundings, full of beauty and peace, living the life we desire becomes more natural and effortless.

My Story

No change is an island. In other words, multiple things tend to influence a lasting change in our lives.  So let’s go back in time before I read Clear: How to Simplify Your Life & Live More Fearlessly.

I’ve always kept a tidy home. However, I am known to have many “Jill-piles” as my husband lovingly (ha!) calls them. I also let things like filing papers and new recipe finds accumulate to the point that I’m too overwhelmed to deal with them. This got a bit worse a couple of years back….

After not working (besides at home of course!) since 2002, I decided that I wanted to work as an online coach on top of homeschooling my boys. This was an added commitment on my plate but one I felt passionate about pursuing. At first glance, running an online business may seem easy, but I can tell ya, it’s way more time consuming than most people would believe- especially in the beginning.

I had a friend once tell me how nice it must be that my job is to simply hop on the computer for a while each day and check in with clients (as if that’s the only thing I do in her mind). What my friend didn’t realize is that in order to have any clients at all, there are some minimums when it comes to running an online business. These include having a website for clients to find me, having a social media presence, creating my one on one client programs, creating my group programs, having a streamlined way for clients to check in regularly, creating documents that my one on one clients complete, creating coaching emails, blogging, marketing, relationship building, trying out new fat-loss friendly recipes, and much, much more! She didn’t know what she didn’t know, and that’s cool! It certainly didn’t offend me, rather it made me chuckle!

With all this added responsibility, some things around the house began to be left undone. Oops! Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who picked up some of the home responsibilities like laundry (yes, he’s a keeper!!), but we still decided that we need to revamp some things so that we could have the life we desire.

The first thing we did was to hire a house cleaner. Personally, I hate cleaning! Setting aside hours each weekend to clean became less of a priority for me. Not because I didn’t want a clean, sparkling house but because I had so many other things I was spending my time doing. This decision has been the best gift to myself!

Secondly, during 2014 I wanted to change up our main living space. I hired an interior designer, Kristen Haynes of Reimagine at Home, to help me make my living room and kitchen bright and enjoyable to live in. We switched from earth tones (my default that I totally have to fight against – lol!) to lighter colors, less drab, and lot of brightness. You can see some of the color choices we used in the image below. We went with orange, several shades of blue, a lot of white, super fun fabrics, and lightened up the furniture. My husband created us a sweet piece for over our sofa as well (see image below)! We are really loving the space so much more than before. 😀

getting clear about clutter

After Christmas, while packing up all the decor and putting my home back in order, I was inspired to clean up a couple of areas that have been bugging me. About the same time, I began reading Clear.

I don’t think that those two things coinciding was an accident at all! Although my process of de-cluttering and beautifying my home had already begun, following the exercises in the book supercharged my motivation and efforts. Since reading the book and I’ve been on a MISSION!

Annick makes it clear (pun intended 😉 ) in her book that your physical environment affects your health and well being. You know the terrible feeling when you’re house has piles of clutter and needs a good cleaning, right? When my house is like that I feel down, depressed, and frozen. I don’t even know where to start. The solution is to just start with one spot! Just do something! Action will beget action!

Once the house is cleaned, smelling great, and full of sparkle, isn’t that the BEST feeling in the world!? For me it is, and it motivates me to do more for my home and myself. When my home to-do list is short and manageable, I’m able to tackle other things that often are put on the back burner like self-care.

I still have areas in my home to work on like my going through my clothes, shoes, and recipes, but I’m feeling really great about my progress since starting this process on January 1st. 🙂

“We only accept our circumstances when we believe there is no other way.” -Chapter 2 p.26

But there IS another way! Below are some way you can take action today to clear your clutter!

Your Action Steps to Clear Your Clutter:

1. Start small. It’s easy to allow clutter to overwhelm you and cause you to freeze and take no action at all. I suggest setting a timer for 15 minutes and tackle one pile of clutter. That’s it! Anyone can set aside 15 minutes and get a small job done. You can start with a drawer, the top of your desk, your shoes, your make up, or a cabinet space that’s messy.

2. Donate items on the regular. Have a system in place (a box in the garage will do!) to place unwanted items or clothes that are too small for a monthly trip to a donation center.

3. Sell valuable items that you no longer need. If you have valuable items that need a new home, have a yard sale, post them on Craig’s List, or list them on eBay. I’ve personally found that this isn’t worth my time unless it’s something is worth over $75. We typically donate, but if you’re just beginning this process, it may be worth selling some of the more valuable items. Use the money to reinvest in your home environment!

4. Be willing to throw away things you don’t need that you can’t give away or sell. This is tough for so many. It’s hard to let go of that item we *might* use some day or *might* wear again. If you haven’t used it in the last year, it’s likely you won’t use it ever again.

5. Refurbish items and make them delightful again so they serve to beautify your home rather than clutter it.

Consider this piece by Kristen from Reimagine At Home. She took this old dresser and repurposed it into a television stand. It is fresh, light, and fun not to mention the drawer space that will help with the clutter in the room. These drawers can hold remote controls, dvd cases, books, games, and other items you use in the living space.

Reimagine.collage

6. Establish systems for items that typically clutter the home. This includes clothing, shoes, mail, bills, book bags, and school work.

My husband is a pro at this when it comes to mail! He has a rule to only touch a piece of mail once. It gets trashed or put in its’ home (bills go to the bill basket, invites are written on the calendar and placed on the refrigerator *if* we need to keep them, and junk mail goes to recycling).

When you have systems in place, you’ll never have to worry about your house looking like “what my mom sees” below!

The Challenge and Signed Book Giveaway!

(This giveaway is CLOSED. Thanks to all who participated! xo)

Follow these steps to participate in the #ClearBookGiveaway and enter the drawing for a FREE, SIGNED copy of Annick’s book:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post or on this facebook post telling me why you would want to win this book.

2. For a bonus entry, post a before picture of the space that you desire to de-clutter (it can be your car, a drawer, your bathroom cabinet, a desk, anything as small or large you would like to tackle with Annick’s guidance). Post the photo on facebook and/or Instagram. It needs to be a public post so that I can see it. Use the hashtag #ClearBookGiveaway. Each post I can see will give you an entry. 🙂 Tag me if you post on Instagram!

3. For a second bonus entry, publicly share this blog post with your friends and family using the hashtag #ClearBookGiveaway. If it’s not public, I will not be able to see the post or give you credit for the entry.

I will draw a name from the entries on Tuesday night, 1/27/2015 at 9 p.m. EST to announce the winner of the book!

clutter.before.after

What do you feel when you look at the before picture? What about the after picture? To me, it’s stress vs. peace.

 

Annick Magac is an author, entrepreneur, health coach and design expert. She knows first-hand that an often overlooked aspect of our lives may contribute to our inability to succeed. In Clear, Magac explains how the physical environment is a reflection of your inner self. This environment can cause you to become stagnant or propel you toward living a fearless life surrounded by beauty. Using Magac’s tried and true techniques, you will also learn how to rehab your environment so it reflects and releases your true inner self. And when your true inner self is free you will find that anything is possible.

Are you ready to get Clear?

AMClearGuestBlogImage

Follow along as many are starting to get their hands on this book and clear their clutter! The hashtag for this book is #ClearBook, so check that out on Instagram and facebook.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
, ,

Are You Using This Surprising Fat Loss Tool? It’s So EASY Your Dog Can Do It!

Years ago, I was a runner. That was my ONLY mode of exercise for a season. It was easy for me to look around the park at others who were *just* walking and (sad to say) get a little judge-y.

Me (in my head): “If you’re going to make an effort to get out and exercise, RUN! Or at least power walk.”

Well, I’m writing this post today with egg on my face! I’ve come full circle on leisure walking and see it as a MASSIVE yet surprising fat loss tool for living a lean and healthy lifestyle.

Walking is what humans were designed to do. Back in the days of my great-grandparents, most people were healthy and lean without the type of exercise we all do today. They didn’t count calories or take exercise classes…What they did do is walk…ALL.DAY.LONG. 🙂 We can certainly learn a thing or 2 from their example.

Leisure Walking.blog

Fat Loss Benefits of Leisure Walking, the Surprising Fat Loss Tool:
Your Action Steps:
  • Walk 30-60 minutes per day whenever possible. Go at a snail’s pace. 🙂
  • If you’re physically able to exercise, combine a leisure walking regimen with short duration, high-intensity workouts a few times each week. This is the perfect fat loss exercise combination.
  • ENJOY the quality time walking with friends, family members, or your furry friends! This is exactly what most of us need in our fast-paced society.
  • If you need support and guidance, join a group like the highly effective FASTer Way to Fat Loss, a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting.

It’s SPRING, so get outside and start this wonderful lean lifestyle habit today!!

Head over to the facebook post below and let me know YOUR favorite place to walk. Mine is, hands-down, THE BEACH! 😀

~Jill

 


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!